Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday August 15 2010
Ok, so after a great win yesterday, attention has turned fully onto our caretaker manager. The question is, do we need a 'name' to attract players or should we give Super Mac a go?
'Ok, I know it is only early days but what a breath of fresh air today's performance against West Ham was! It may sound naive and somewhat reckless to base an opinion on just one game but K-Mac for manager anyone?!
For me, that is the type of football I've always believed this team has been capable of producing, and to be honest should be producing at home in particular. We showed today that we are much more than just a route one team, and really produced some enterprising play throughout.
Anyhow, I'm not sure how much of today's on pitch performance can be attributed to Kevin McDonald but what can be attributed to him is the fact that he was willing to start Albrighton, and not make a donkey 'Heskey for Carew' substitution on 70min, instead going for Reo-Coker, Weimann and Bannan. Match day squad utilisation - haven't seen that in a while. Nor have I seen a free flowing passing game where we didn't play 100 long bombs to the target man. Yes, there was some, but it was used to great effect and it was used SPARINGLY. It wasn't plan A. Tick.
Also, the fact that McDonald has led the reserves to three straight titles shouldn't be overlooked. He has a deep, understanding of the squad, and importantly, a deep understanding of the young talent we have. The critical point here though, is that he was willing to use this young talent. He could have quite easily played Downing and Young on the wings with NRC in the centre with a 4-5-1 but he was bold and it paid off. Albrighton was superb and if he keeps in the first team long enough, I will put £20 on him being in the PFA Young Player of the Season shortlist come next year.
My point from all this, is that I VERY much like what I saw today, and would love to continue to see that. Ok, West Ham were terrible but we never let them into the game. We dominated the midfield and carved out chance after chance. If this is the type of football we can expect to see under Kevin McDonald week in, week out, give him a chance. Two of Martin O'Neill's biggest deficiencies were addressed by McDonald today and I'd like to see how that pans out over the course of the season under Kevin McDonald.'
OUr forum thread:Click Here
Randy Lerner spoke to the press, this from the Mail On Sunday, with reference to Kevin MacDonald.
"We saw the answer with the players, the way they went out today and played for each other, for Kevin and the supporters. There are those managers who like the show and the attention — and then there are those such as Kevin."
He was also asked by the press if MacDonald had given him food for thought the way Villa played v West Ham.
"No, it wasn`t what happened today, I already had that "food", it was already in my mind that Kevin might have it in him. I`m not going to say it is in Kevin`s hands now and I would be disappointed if it was reported like that. But much will depend on how Kevin feels, whether he thinks this might be right for him, if he is comfortable with the idea of being Villa`s manager."
Adding, "He is such a cool guy, he is popular with the players — who really played for him today — and with the fans and the press. We will see how he feels when he wakes up from this and then we will look at the situation from there."
Oh and a certain mention of a certain 'caretaker' manager called Tony Barton who helped us win some cup or other in Europe? Not sure what he means by that! ;o))
Juan Pablo Angel joined in ... this from his twitter account: 'Kevin McDonald should be given an opportunity to be the Manager this season! He has done a tremendous job at Villa for many,many years'
'Do you know something if you said to me, would you place Kevin MacDonald in full time charge last week I would have said, thanks but no thanks. But today has changed my thinking. I'm not getting carried away but I have been watching the reserves since I was about 8, so a good ten years. Kevin Mac has been in charge of that side for all that time. Villa reserves have one of the best records, if not the best in the country for winning titles, and the manager is Kevin MacDonald. He seems a genuine nice guy but has that tough streak to him which allows players to he respectful of him.
Onto today...everything was different. We played some really nice football, something we rarely did under MON. Some of the long range passes was superb, that little spell where we held onto the ball I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Right the way through the side, Luke Young seems to be enjoying his football and is raring to go once again in a Villa shirt...how we were talking about selling him for 2m is beyond me! Remember we had big injury problems at the back today and Ciaran Clark stepped in and looked like he had been there all his life. Petrov totally controlled proceedings in midfield. Scott Parker who? He didn't even get knackered this game either. Stewart Downing seems a different man, he's running at players and crossing the ball very well. His decision to play Milner was fully justified and we saw what a pro Milner is...whether the deal goes through or not we will see but fair play for playing him today. Ashley Young was back to his best...ripping West Ham apart. That lob would have been a fine goal. Marc Albrighton was terrific..really deserved his chance and really took it. He was brilliant. If only John Carew was on form then it could have been seven or more. I know it's early days but today showed me that these players want to play for Kevin Mac. It was his style, his tactics today. It was superb to see Weimann & Bannan come on. Under MON it would have been Heskey for Carew and Beye for Young and the same old shite. I was so pleased to see Weimann get onto the pitch rather than Heskey.
Early days yeah, but Kevin Mac is a Breath of fresh air for this football club at the moment. He knows his stuff, been at Villa Park for 16 years and is a Villa guy at heart...I say give him a chance.
Kevin MacDonalds claret and blue army!'
Ralph Ellis in The Mirror has Steve Staunton backing Kev as well.
He says MacDonald is 'as good as any coach I`ve ever worked with or under'.
He adds (after saying he wouldn't say anything against MON) 'There are quite some names on that list, and he`s up with the very best of them. He`s honest, he doesn`t take any nonsense, he`s a winner. He demands total commitment of a player, he gets them into a way of playing, not just passing for the sake of passing, it`s done to win a game of football.'
He also points out that his achievements as reserve coach are fantastic as it is a difficult job juggling the keen young players coming through and the unhappy senior players not getting into the first team.
He also says, 'He knows the game inside out, he knows the players inside out, and he has great help alongside him with Tony McAndrew. Plus he was a top player, people forget that. He had four years as part of a terrific Liverpool team in the 1980s - he won the Double with them in 1986. And it was only because he unfortunately broke his leg the next year that he didn`t play loads more.'
Wonder if Stan the man would be looking to return to Villa Park as assistant?
So... do you want Kevin MacDonald to be given an extended run or do we still need a 'name' to be taken on? Next question I guess, does Mac want the job? Not everyone wants the pressure or hassle that comes with THE hotseat!
Our thread on Mac: Click Here
Date:Sunday August 15 2010
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